Caithness Courier headlines for March 18,

THE first visible sign of a start to the mobilisation of the MeyGen tidal array off the north Caithness coast has come with the arrival of a consignment of massive steel structures. Harpsdale-based JGC Engineering and Technical Services Ltd is due next month to start fabricating the units which will secure the turbines to the seabed in the Inner Sound between Stroma and the mainland.

THE jobs of six Caithness gardeners could be saved following crunch talks between local councillors and Highland Council. That emerged after the meeting which was held in private at Wick Town Hall on Friday afternoon. Landward Caithness Highland councillor, Willie Mackay, is "very hopeful" the jobs can be saved.

A FORMER member of a group of churches working together to relieve and challenge poverty is "heartbroken" that the local Thurso branch is coming to an end. June Pugh fromer secretary of Thurso and District Christian Aid Committee said it was a very sad day when the committee decided, due to a lack of support, to dissove, at an extradordinary general meeting held earlier in March.

A MEETING between a Caithness businessman and MP John Thurso led to an influential report being published into the way banks lend money to small firms. The report, by the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee, is highly critical of banks and the regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority. It lays bear the mis-selling of fixed interest products which had forced several small firms out of business.

CAITHNESS patients, who have to go to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness, will benefit from a 30 million-plus three-year upgrade of the facilities. The last phase of the work will mean respiratory patients, transferring from Ward 11 to newly refurbished wards, on the main buildings seventh floor, bringing them closer to other specialities.

FORSS Young Farmers are celebrating holding a very successful ploughing maatch despite a las-minute rush to find suitable land because of the recent wet spell. The entry included the first woman to take part in five years, while an encouraging number came to watch and pass on their expert views on how the ploughers were doing. Eleven contestants took part in Saturday's match at Achavrole Farm,Halkirk, with permission of the Buchanan family.

THE Scorries had their wings clipped at Claggan Park on Saturday when Fort Willian turned a half-time deficit into a victory to claim their biggest scalp in a recent revival in the fortunes of the perennial Highland League basement outfit. The final score was 3-2.